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Kayser is New LA Unified Board Budget Committee Chair

Hillel Aron | October 11, 2013

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Tamar Galatzan

Tamar Galatzan

Bennett Kayser has taken over as chairman of the LA Unified School Board budget committee, replacing Tamar Galatzan, who stepped down after two years.

Galatzan said that she saw no reason for the budget committee — formally, the Facilities, Audit and Budget Committee — to meet at the moment, now that the district is conducting a a number of community meetings to address spending priorities.

“There are dozens of budget meetings being held throughout the school district,” she explained in an email. “In addition, many of the board committees are addressing budget issues, and board motions impacting the budget are introduced monthly. Until there are new procedures established to manage these multiple directions, I do not think a separate budget committee is effective or necessary.”

Kayser’s view is quite different.

“It’s the most important committee there is, and [Kayser’s] first priority is to get a three-year budget in place,” his chief of staff, Sarah Bradshaw, told LA School Report.

Kayser also chairs LA Unified’s new Early Childhood Education and Parent Engagement Ad Hoc Committee and sits on the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee.

“It means it’s a much bigger workload for him but someone has to take the lead,” Bradshaw said.

Galatzan, who represents a large chunk of the San Fernando Valley, is known as one of the more fiscally conservative board members, often questioning how her colleagues plan on paying for various proposals. She has chosen to serve on the Board part-time; she has a full-time job as deputy city attorney.

She is regarded as one of the “reform”-aligned Board members, and is a close ally of Superintendent John Deasy – in rather stark contrast to her replacement, Kayser, who is one of Deasy’s biggest critics on the board.

Additional reporting by Vanessa Romo.

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